Heuser (ed), “Pastures of Plenty”

Heuser, Andreas (ed).  2015. Pastures of Plenty: Tracing Religio-Scapes of Prosperity Gospel in Africa and Beyond.  Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. 

Publisher’s Description: Prosperity Gospel, a controversial strand in global Christianity, relates material wealth to divine blessing. Originating in American Pentecostal milieus, it is most successful in Africa. Authors from four continents present interdisciplinary, multi-sited and comparative analyses of Prosperity Gospel in Africa and beyond. Prosperity theologies adapt to varied political contexts and travel outside Pentecostalism into the wider religious arena. Its components trigger discourses within ecumenical Christianity and are transformed in transnational Christian networks of migrants; they turn up in African shrine religion and African Islam. Pastures of Plenty maps the evolving religio-scapes of Prosperity Gospel.


Andreas Heuser: Religio-Scapes of Prosperity Gospel: an Introduction

Rainer Tetzlaff: Political Architecture of Poverty: On Changing Patterns of «African Identity»

Jens Kohrsen: Pentecostal Improvement Strategies: A Comparative Reading on African and South American Pentecostalism

Giovanni Maltese: An Activist-Holiness Kenneth Hagin? A Case Study of Prosperity Theology in the Philippines

Paul Gifford: The Prosperity Theology of David Oyedepo, Founder of Winners’ Chapel

Werner Kahl: «Jesus became poor so that we might become rich.» A Critical Review of the Use of Biblical Reference Texts among Prosperity Preachers in Ghana

Rudolf von Sinner: «Struggling with Africa»: Theology of Prosperity in and from Brazil

Michael Biehl: To Prosper and to Be Blessed: Prosperity, Wealth and «Life in Abundance» in Ecumenical Debate

Andreas Heuser: Battling Spirits of Prosperity: The «Pentecostalized» Interreligious Contest over Money Rituals in Ghana

Seebaway Zakaria: Rhetoric and Praxis of Ghanaian Salafi and Sufi Muslims: Analogies with Prosperity Gospel

Katrin Langewiesche: The Ethics of Wealth and Religious Pluralism in Burkina Faso: How Prosperity Gospel is Influencing the Current Religious Field in Africa

Genevieve Nrenzah: Gender Dimensions of Wealth and Health in Ghanaian Indigenous Religious Thinking: Narratives of Female Clients of the Pemsan Shrine

Abraham Nana Opare Kwakye: Encountering «Prosperity» Gospel in Nineteenth Century Gold Coast: Indigenous Perceptions of Western Missionary Societies

Päivi Hasu: Freemasonry, Occult Economies and Prosperity in Tanzanian Pentecostal Discourse

Tomas Sundnes Drønen: «Now I Dress Well. Now I Work Hard» – Pentecostalism, Prosperity, and Economic Development in Cameroon

David D. Daniels III: Prosperity Gospel of Entrepreneurship in Africa and Black America: A Pragmatist Christian Innovation

Chr. Lucas Zapf: Martin Luther, Wealth and Labor: The Market Economy’s Links to Prosperity Gospel

Yvan Droz/Yonatan N. Gez: A God Trap: Seed Planting, Gift Logic, and the Prosperity Gospel

Martin Lindhardt: Are Blessings for Sale? Ritual Exchange, Witchcraft Allegations, and the De-alienation of Money in Tanzanian Prosperity Ministries

Drea Frochtling: Between Gutter and Gucci, Boss and Botho: A Relocation of «Prosperity Gospel» by Nigerian Pentecostal Christians in Soweto, South Africa

Jeanne Rey: Missing Prosperity: Economies of Blessings in Ghana and the Diaspora – Daniel Frei: «With Both Feet in the Air»: Prosperity Gospel in African Migrant Churches in Switzerland.

Tishken and Heuser, “‘Africa always brings us something new'”

Tishken, Joel E. and Andreas Heuser.  2015. ‘Africa always brings us something new’: a historiography of African Zionist and Pentecostal Christianities.  Religion.  Early online publication.

Abstract: This article outlines and interrogates the historiography, major debates, critical works, and typological disputes in the study of African Zionist and African Pentecostal Christianities. We contend that despite the many valid historiographic and typological critiques advanced in recent decades, the categories of Zionist and Pentecostal continue to retain validity and utility to scholars and practitioners alike.

Heuser, “Disjunction-Conjunction-Disillusionment”

Heuser, Andreas. Disjunction–Conjunction–Disillusionment: African Pentecostalism and Politics.  Nova Religio 18(3): 7-17.

Abstract: In Pentecostal political theology in Africa, there has been a movement from Pentecostal disjunction from state and society towards conjunction on governance levels. This eventually led to disillusionment with Pentecostal policymaking, both within African Pentecostal milieus and public discourses. The entrance of Pentecostal actors onto the political stage in African countries dates back to the transformative years from 1989 to 1993, in which democratic movements all over the continent were challenging autocratic presidential regimes. This era has been termed in political science the “second democratization” after the immediate postcolonial era of nation building in the 1960s. Almost invisible before, Pentecostal political impact was growing enormously and transformed into varied efforts to ‘pentecostalize’ governance since the turn of the millennium. In view of selected West African political cultures and Kenya discussed in this special issue of Nova Religio, a dialectics in Pentecostal visions of politics becomes obvious: The diversity of political strategies testifies to African Pentecostal potency in public discourses, but once entangled in actual policymaking, Pentecostal praxis discredits self-images of superiority in politics.

Heuser, “Put on God’s Armour Now!”

Heuser, Andreas (2011) “‘Put on God’s Armour Now!’: the Embattled Body in African Pentecostal-type Christianity”  in Sebastian Jobs and Gesa Mackenthun, eds., Embodiments of Cultural Encounters. Munster: Wasmann Verlag. 

Excerpt: “Arjun Appadurai distinguishes “hard” from “soft” cultural forms by discussing processes of indigenization . . The argument that I have presented here is that the ‘theology of the embattled body’ in African Pentecostal-type Christianity has developed in to such a “hard cultural form.” . . .Pneumatology, the central theological dimension in African Pentecostal-style Christianity, reviles around the twin formula of an enacted demonology and an elaborated devil complex. . . As a hard cultural form, with all its moral, spiritual, and ritual virtues, the theology of the embattled body resist reinterpretation. In few of the gendered body politics in African Pentecostal-type churches, it changes those who are socialized in it more readily than it permits transformation of the established texture of the devil complex.  . . “